Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Life in Cuenca

It's funny about daily life in Cuenca.  Most of the time, we hear the roar of the Rio Tomebamba from our bedroom window, which is a wonderful sound.  But, we typically are awakened each morning promptly at 7:30am by the loud speaker at the school across the river.  The very first night that we stayed in our apartment, the next morning we woke up to very loud talking.  I said, "What IS that?"  That is when we discovered that we have a school right across the river where they make morning annoucements to the children out in the courtyard.  They are also made to do morning calisthenics , "uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho...ARRIBA.." over and over.  It makes me want to jump out of bed and start doing my own calistenics.  Then, he makes morning annoucements and since my knowledge of Spanish is negligible, I really have no idea what he is saying.  But he always says it with gusto.  Well, last week, his megaphone (although it sounds like a bull horn) was shorting out and making some horrible sounds.  So this week, he started out Monday morning with a brand new megaphone which was even louder and clearer than ever.  I didn't think it was possible that he could get any louder.  I don't know how he is not damaging the eardrums of his young students.  The only good thing is that he is usually finished within 20 minutes.  But by that time,we are WIDE awake.  That is on Monday through Friday.

Well, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, we get a different wake-up call.  We are also located next to the Coliseo (by Unidas Nacional and 12th de Abril) where the tennis courts are.  Well, for the last two months, at around 8:15am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, an outdoor dance class is held in the parking lot on the side of our building.  So, the heavy disco dance beat starts around 8:15am to let people know that the class is getting ready to start promptly at 8:30am.  That is when the instructor starts to yell into his head microphone the dance movements that the students are supposed to follow.  These classes are also held between 8:15pm-9:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (for those who are interested).  The music is SO loud that we can hardly hear the television in our apartment during that time.  I have even joined in during a couple of classes following the movements from our bedroom window.  It is like I am right out there.

It's funny how some expats talk about the noises of the roosters crowing, the car alarms, and the fireworks.  We don't really hearing any roosters crowing, but you can't get away from the car alarms and the fireworks in Cuenca.  (They don't really bother us so much).  It makes you wonder how the Cuencan people don't complain about the early morning annoucements and the early weekend morning dance class.  I guess they are up going to work at 7:30am during the week and maybe 8:15am is not so early for them on the weekends.  One day I will understand enough Spanish and will understand what is being said in the school announcements.  In the meantime, if those 2 things are the only things that we have to complain about here, then we are living the life in Ecuador!!


  1. Oh you made me laugh... I can see you hopping around in your living room to the movements, while you look outside, making sure you are keeping in time..

  2. Karen, you have NO idea!! I did learn that I would not last the whole hour. I was never a Jazzercise kind of gal!! I like to do my own thing. But it was fun to try. They were even over there in the rain this morning.

  3. Funny post, Sue. Just go with the flow and imagine the great shape you and Pat will be in a couple of months from now. As for myself, I promise never to move into your neighborhood. The dogs in my neighborhood or a challenge enough, and the ear plugs keep falling out of my ears every night.

    I'm not surprised that the two latest risers in Cuenca, Karen Kimbler and myself,commented on your post. We both know the genuine agony of early rising and interrupted sleep.

    Being a former school administrator, I look forward to your English translation of what the principal is saying everyday on his bull horn. I certainly remember my electronic bull horn days at the elementary level.

  4. Great post, thanks for making me laugh! I'm one of those who enjoys her sleep time :)

  5. As a "night person," I was laughing hysterically at your post, Sue. And reading it aloud to Taylor and Berry made me laugh even harder! Thanks for making my day! Happy dancing!